What is Buy One, Give One you ask?
Well, it is fairly simple. For every item YOU buy, an item is given to A PERSON IN NEED. Isn’t that cool? We think so too.
Now, this item does not have to be what you purchased. Our friends over at MudLOVE work with Water for Good to give water to those who need it in developing countries. Other companies, like TOMs or Warby Parker give the products they sell you (shoes and glasses, respectively).
Where did this model start, though?
In the mid-2000’s, TOMs Shoes began a revolution by uniting a for-profit business model with a charitable giving model, donating one pair of shoes for every pair of shoes purchased. The two sides of the company, charitable and for-profit, balance each other out perfectly.
The successful shoe company was founded in 2006 after founder Blake Mycoskie traveled to Argentina and encountered children and adults who were too poor to afford even a basic pair of shoes. Rather than simply donate shoes in bulk, Mycoskie decided to engineer a longer-term solution (Read our article on TOMs here).
And thus was born the “buy one, give one” business model — a for-profit model of charitable giving that has become synonymous with the TOMs shoe brand. At its core, the business model focuses on lowering production costs in order to generate the revenue required to maintain the charitable giving program.
And from there, it took off! Other organizations, including apparel company Warby Parker (read our Warby Parker article here) and many others (most of which are listed here), have also been early adopters of the model.
Companies adopting the buy one, give one model typically form a nonprofit arm or partner with an established nonprofit. The latter is true of Warby Parker. Their nonprofit partner, Vision Spring, has been able to provide eyewear to low-income people with vision problems in more than two dozen countries around the world.
Such a simple way to make such a lasting impact.
As always keep voting with your wallets and help others help the world around us!